Hemorrhoids vs. Polyps

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Difference between Hemorrhoids and Polyps

Hemorrhoids and polyps are two conditions that can cause a significant amount of pain and/or discomfort, not to mention lead to a host of health issues. Let's see what else these two conditions have in common and how they differ.


Hemorrhoids are vascular formations in the anal canal. They are actually normally present in most people, and they perform the essential function of helping with stool control. Hemorrhoids only become a problem when they become swollen or inflamed, in which case they are called "piles". The most basic function of hemorrhoids is to act as sort of cushions. They are made online of arteries, veins and connective tissue. Hemorrhoids may be internal, in which case they may cause rectal bleeding, albeit with the absence of pain; or internal, in which case they may cause pain in the anal area.

Polyps in contrast are decidedly abnormal. They are tissue growths that grow out of a mucous membrane. Polyps come in two types: pedunculated, which are connected to the tissue via an elongated stalk, and sessile, which are simply connected without a stalk. These formations are typically found in the colon, the stomach, the bladder, uterus and even in the nose and sinuses. In fact, polyps may be found in other areas of the body where there are mucous membranes, such as the cervix and the small intestine.


Hemorrhoids typically manifest as itchiness, pain the rectum, and/or bleeding. Most cases of hemorrhoids clear up on their own within a few days, even without treatment. While external hemorrhoids can be quite painful, internal hemorrhoids do not usually cause any pain or discomfort unless they become thrombosed or necrotic.

A common sign of hemorrhoids is hematochezia, which is simply the presence of bright red blood on the stool. Blood may also be seen in toilet paper and on the sides of the toilet bowl. In addition, some hemorrhoids may also poke through the anus, or they may show up as painful lumps or swelling in and around the anal cavity.

Polyps do not usually cause any symptoms, although they may result in bleeding, blood in the stool, and pain in the abdomen. Some people who have polyps may also experience constipation, diarrhea, and eve unusual fatigue. Patients with polyps large enough to cause an obstruction in the bowel may also experience nausea, vomiting and constipation.

Health Risks

Internal hemorrhoids do not usually cause any pain, which is why many people who have them mistakenly think that they do not require treatment. However, these types of hemorrhoids may cause bleed when irritated, and when left untreated can cause more the more serious conditions prolapsed and strangulated hemorrhoids.

As for polyps, the ones called adenomas are the ones that are particularly risky, since they can be precursors to cancer. These polyps form on the colon's lining. Other forms of polyps that occur in the colon are hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps. Unlike adenomas, these aren't likely to develop into cancer.

Similarities and Differences


  • Vascular formations in the anal canal
  • Called "piles" when they become swollen or inflamed


  • Abnormal tissue growths that grow out of a mucous membrane
  • May be found in the cervix and the small intestine

Which is more painful?
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Polyps

Discuss It: comments 3

  • Guest
  • frank owusu afrane wrote on March 2011

my potrude out of the ****. some times i have to push it my self back. is this a polyp or piles. i feel unconfortable.

  • Guest
  • Shell wrote on December 2016

Sounds like it could be either. Just had colonoscopy and doc said it seems as though the 'hemorrhoids' I had been treating with other doctor are polyplastic or adenomatic polyps. Getting second colonoscopy to remive it / them.

thank you for sharing ur valuable info with us

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